Holding on with sticky pad feet outside my door, the vigilant gekko prepares for an active evening. The ones that live outside my door in South Florida come alive at night. They hover near the lights where moths and other insects are drawn. As I walk up the apartment steps, I see about one gekko on watch per door. They work alone and are apparently territorial.
In a cold snap, gekkos will try to get into the house to wait for the air to warm outside. It doesn’t happen very often, but I keep watch to make sure they get out of the house alive. One time, I was sure that a gekko watched my steps and ran out along side me as I opened the door to leave. That’s when it first occurred to me that these reptiles had more intelligence than I gave them credit for.
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay
I’m a reasonable minimalist. Not too many clothes or much furniture. I live below my means. Closets are precious real estate zones. Recently I’ve been applying a different filter to songs I keep to play. I think there is a great lesson here for my musical path, as well as my life.
I sing and play guitar. My talents are better than some and far worse than others. Playing is a solitary activity and a group event. Adding items to my potential repertoire is easy. Doing something with them is another. I’ve decided that if I keep a tune for a year or so and can’t find a way to play it by then, it should hit the trash. Loving a song is one thing; effectively covering it is another.
Like many things in life, the clutter of the old keeps the new from taking root. If I flip through my music book and keep seeing a song that I can’t “own,” it wastes my time and precious energy. (It’s a little like reading the blogs of others that don’t resonate and purging that site from your reader. I hope you don’t feel that way about this blog.) Why keep a song that you can’t hit the highs or lows well, or it doesn’t sound good without a driving percussive sound?
The trick to a great song collection to cover is to write down the names of songs when you hear them. Also, playing with others gives you fresh inspiration. I’m going to get very aggressive this weekend and tear through that songbook. Does this strike a chord with any of my readers?
On display at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee.
Just in case this is not clear enough on the plaque, it reads “WOODEN STOOL – Governor Chiles used this cedar three-legged stool in his 1991 State of the State Address to illustrate that the three branches of government depend on each other.”
Not being one to embrace traditional resolutions, I posed a different question to myself. What do I love doing, and what do I just like doing? I’m focusing here on hobbies and interests. Most of us have any number of things we do in our free time that we enjoy. My challenge was to make a list of about eight personal interests and to make a “like” and a “love” column. The answers were interesting – but not surprising.
What was the point of this exercise? To focus on the things that give maximum personal satisfaction and meaning to my life today. It’s probable that this list will change over time, as it has before. By frequent assessment, I can be sure that I’m not doing the same thing I did yesterday just out of habit. Old habits can curtail new interests and possibilities.
I’m a big fan of asking the right questions of myself. Living life can be a mindless adventure without some sense that you’ve got your life pointed towards the North Star. The hardest part may be seeing that proverbial star in the cloudy sky.
Let me just say that I am no existentialist. The questions of what we love doing, and the pursuit of those interests, are not in conflict with religious faith. My offering for today is a suggestion to get clarity on where you spend your precious free hours. A mindless wandering can trip you in your own doorway.
Sitting on a large rock, the young girl felt the warmth in the middle of winter. Snow-tipped juniper bushes touched the cottony snow mounds. Grey branches rose high above her head. The small berries on the juniper tree were lovely to see. Soon, the girl found it irresistible to jump with wild abandon in the juniper bushes laying low to the ground. She was careful not to break the boughs.
Soon cold, she went home and changed her clothes. A flannel shirt and some hot tomato soup warmed her body. The pleasure of that day has never left her. When life is too busy, hard, unrewarding and hard to live, her mind returns to that day. Perhaps her pinnacle experience happened at around ten years of age.
When I encourage others to find a peaceful and happy place in their minds, it’s a bit like asking them to get their flannel on. Joy is being able to find (or find again) a place or thought that lights a fire inside of us. Some days it may inspire us to big things. Other times, it provides embers enough to live another day.
My blog will touch on experiences like this. Show me that I’m not alone. If we can each find our inner flannel, we can help others find theirs. Along the way, notice the birds that sing, the trees that shade you, the water that glistens and the blue skies that are limitless.